The Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino Boys' Choir (= SCCD) was founded in 1959 by its current conductor, Father Michaël Ghijs. The choir consists of almost seventy singers who are all pupils or former pupils of the St-Martin's Institute, a regular secondary school in Aalst, a town at 30 kilometers from Brussels, the Heart of Europe. The choir's aim, as its name indicates, is to sing to the Lord. For this purpose, the boys rehearse daily before and after classes. All in all, the rehearsals amount more than 10 hours a week.
Particulary the trebles are unique and are frequently asked to participate to various choral productions at professional level. In this way, the SCCD has been conducted by famous conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Rafaël Frühbeck de Burgos, Alexander Rahbari, Pierre Bartholomée, Pierre Cao, Colin Davis, Rudolf Werthen, Michaël Tilson Thomas, Claudio Abbado and Philippe Herreweghe.
The SCCD's repertoire reflects all periods and genres of western choral music, from the medieval Gregorian chants, renaissance and baroque to the work of contemporary composers: from Palestrina (Missa Papae Marcelli), Händel (Messiah, Israel in Egypt, Solomon), J.S. Bach (St-John Passion (BWV 245), Mass in B-minor (BWV 232)), Mozart (Coronation Mass, Requiem) J. Haydn (Imperial Nelson Mass), Gustav Mahler (3rd and 8th Symphonies), Felix Mendelssohn (Elijah, St-Paul) to Benjamin Britten (War Requiem), Penderecki (St-Luke Passion), C. Franck (Les Béatitudes), C. Orff (Carmina Burana), Leonard Bernstein (Chichester Psalms), Arthur Honegger (Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher), Lloyd Webber (Requiem), Igor Stravinsky (Symphony of Psalms) and Arvo Pärt (Psalm 137).
The SCCD did not only perform in the major European cities but also in Argentina, the USA, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, Russia, Israel, India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, Brazil and most recently, in Cuba. The SCCD was received by Pope John Paul II in 1993 and by the King of Belgium, Albert II, in 1994. In December 2001, the SCCD took part in the Christmas concert in the Vatican.
Up to now, the SCCD has produced three CD on it's own, while it participated to several others (St-Matthew Passion (BWV 244) in co-operation with Philippe Herreweghe...). In 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997, the choir was appointed "Cultural Ambassador of Flanders" by the Flemish Government. The SCCD also got the title of "Choir of the European Union for Belgium" and in December 2002, it was appointed "Cultural Ambassador of Europe".